Thursday, September 1, 2011

My Foray Into Foods

A big part of fitness is maintaining a good diet. My blog is about fitness. Therefore, I would like to add some posts here and there that will offer healthy suggestions from the foods I eat on a regular basis. I am by no means perfect and I enjoy being unhealthy sometimes, but most of the time, I like to stick to eating good for me, yummy foods. I am also not a registered dietitian or nutritionist, but I do know a lot about eating well, and as a fitness professional, I have studied a lot about nutrition. I have a pretty good handle on what is good to eat and what is not.

I don't cook very well and I don't cook very often, but I like to make quick and easy foods that I still enjoy. My brother makes fun of my microwavable Boca burgers and calls them crabby patties. I know the microwave isn't the ideal way to cook your food, but I use it sometimes because hey! I have a busy life (and I bet you do too). Sometimes you gotta do what you gotta do. I digress. Bottom line, expect to see a few more food posts from me here and there.

I'm going to start my food blogging adventure today with one of my favorite snacks. It's packed with protein and fruit and it's extremely low in calories. Here it is below:
 It is a Fage 0% Greek Yogurt mixed with cinnamon, 1 packet of splenda, a handful of frozen dark sweet cherries and frozen blueberries. It's a delicious afternoon snack and tastes like Pinkberry without the added sugar! It's packed with 18 grams of protein to fill you up and keep you going. Tonight I will be teaching my bootcamp so I want to make sure I have enough energy to get me through. This will do 'er!

I hope you enjoy this healthy suggestion. Be Well!

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Check Yourself Before You Wreck Yourself

It's been a little while since I've blogged or vlogged so I thought I would do a quick check in to see how you are doing. How are you? How are your workouts going? Are you keeping motivated this summer? Are you striving towards your own personal greatness?

A couple weeks ago I had an article published with HerExchange titled 3 Ways to Be Your Personal Best. Even though I'm sure you couldn't stop yourself from reading, I'll recap. This article told a story about a day that I was running along the East River and I started to compare myself to other runners. I had to check myself before I wrecked myself and realize that compare leads to despair. By focusing on my own accomplishments and achievements, I'm rockin' my own world, not feeling slighted by someone elses.

Recently, I had a similar experience where I needed to check before I wrecked. I haven't been running much this summer because I've been engaging in other forms of activity (like my awesome Boot Camp workout). I also sat the proverbial bench after a nail fell off from the middle toe on my right foot again, and decided I wanted to take a break from the harsh effects running sometimes can have on one's body. On Sunday, when I was visiting my hometown Chicago, I went for a mid-day jog to give it a go again. Plainly put, the run sucked. It was really hot and muggy outside, and I felt like I was slogging through mud and sucking in vapor as I trekked the streets of my sister's neighborhood. I only ran two miles and it wasn't fun. Yesterday, I needed a little pick me up after traveling back to New York and some stress relief. Even though I was nervous to jog again after my bad experience two days prior, I knew that physical activity would be the best for me. I laced up my sneakers and hit the path by the East River.

Oh joy of joys, this run was 80 times better than my crappy Sunday workout. I was running stronger and breathing more easily. I remembered why I enjoy running. Even though I felt awesome in my own skin, doubt started to creep in as people started passing me left and right. I started to feel like a turtle easing on down the road. But, like I said, I checked myself and I quickly dug down to my mantra, compare leads to despair! and felt better. I told myself, you took a month off of running and you're feeling great! The last time you ran was horrible and this time is fantastic. Who cares that those 4 people just passed you! You're rockin' your own socks off!

We all have our good days and our bad days. You are the only one who can gauge what is best for you. Healthy competition is great, but when you allow yourself to fall into the pits of despair from the compare, check before you wreck and tell yourself that you are amazing for doing any type of physical activity. You're taking care of you. That's all that matters in the game of fitness. You!

Keep on keepin' on my fitness friends and of course, Be Well!

Monday, July 18, 2011

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

No Pain, No Gain, No Way.

Continuing on with my "I don't want no myths" series, learn why "No Pain, No Gain" is not a mantra that you should follow as part of your fitness regime.

Monday, June 20, 2011

I don't want no myths...Continued

So many women think that lifting weights will bulk them up. See why that isn't true here in my latest vlog.

Monday, May 9, 2011

Last Thursday I had my inaugural boot camp in Central park and it was rockin'! For now, we'll just be meeting on Thursday evenings at 7 until the word gets out about how butt-kicking it truly is, and people will need an extra day to amp their routines. We're meeting at The Pond, pictured above. It's such a beautiful setting to get your endorphins pumping and at the end of a great workout, cool-down and feel energized.

Contact me to get started and Be Well!

Monday, April 25, 2011

Cruisin' and fitness? It can be done!

I just returned from a 17 day long vacation with my sister (there we are on the left!). We took a Trans-Atlantic cruise from Miami, FL to the Bahamas; Bahamas to the Canary Islands; and then we rounded out our voyage by stopping in 4 different cities in Spain. It was amazing. We were on the second largest ship in the world, The Liberty of the Seas, hosted by Royal Caribbean. Crossing the Atlantic Ocean was an experience I’ll never forget. The stars, the moon, and the air were more fantastic and fresh then they are on land. While sailing, there was nothing around us…No land or boats for as far as the eye could see. It would have felt isolating had we not been on this "floating city," as my sister dubbed it.

My friends have been asking me what I did on the 7 days crossing the Atlantic. There’s a lot you can do on a ship of that size. Things like bingo, karaoke, mini-golf, “Arts and Crafts with Janet” (yep)… But my sister, Greta, and I decided to make these 7 days a bit of a health retreat (with a little bit of bingo, karaoke, sunbathing, and wine tasting thrown in for good measure, of course). I’m sure when you think of cruising, you imagine unlimited buffets and a sedentary existence. Yeah, that’s pretty much what it is if you want to play it that way. In fact, one of the spa employees informed us on our first day that a typical guest gains about 2 pounds per day on the ship! But with some planning you can also make it active and healthy if you choose to. Royal Caribbean offers “Vitality” activities and a “Vitality” menu presented at every dinner. The Vitality activities are clearly marked with a symbol on the outline of the day’s activities that you receive each night in your cabin. And every evening in the dining room, you’re given the Vitality menu with your regular menu, which offers an appetizer, entrĂ©e, and dessert with calories clearly marked beside each option for a full meal that’s listed as “Under 800 Calories.”

The best part about staying fit and healthy during our cruise is that The Liberty of the Seas provides it’s guests with an amazing, state of the art fitness facility and spa that we just couldn’t stay away from. Check it out! Greta took pictures.
Here are all the ellipticals and treadmills at the bow of the ship. It was amazing to be moving through the ocean while moving on an elliptical.
Spinning bikes.

Fitness studio.
Boxing ring.

So, when friends ask what I did during those 7 days at sea (and really the entire vacation), my answer is that we took a 6-day boot camp and other rockin’ classes (step, yoga, total body conditioning and more) lead by fantastic personal trainers, Jessica and Kaylie--top-notch fitness professionals from South Africa and England. They kicked our butts, and we felt amazing afterward (and sore). These rockin' women inspired me to start my own boot camp here in New York in Central Park, starting in May. This boot camp will get you results like you’ve never seen before. Seriously. When I took this boot camp on the ship, I felt better than I’ve felt in a long time. I started feel different after our 6 days, and I’m continuing the work on my own here at home. I promise you that if you decide to enlist in these 6 classes here in New York, you won’t want to stop. Also, I’m running a promotion where if you purchase 5 classes, you get the 6th one for free! You’ll receive a punch card that looks like what you see on the right here. Again, 6th class for FREE! Yee-haw! This is a great deal, guys, so click here to read more details. More importantly, Be Well!

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Mix 'er up!

Well, hello there! It's been a long while since I've blogged. Yeesh.

It has been a crazy winter in New York City. One day it's snowing 19 inches and the next, it's 62 degrees outside. This January and February I've been varying my workouts based on the lovely daily weather mood swings. For the past 2 winters, I've had a Half-Marathon to train for. This year, I decided not to take on the challenge. I think I chose wisely because instead of feeling a ton of pressure to follow a running schedule, I've allowed myself to explore new classes at the gym and vary my workout a bit more than I've been used to. I've been taking cardio kickboxing at the 14th Street Y and yoga at Yoga to the People, creating and exploring new workout plans of my own, and testing my Exercise on Demand via Time Warner Cable on days when it was nearly impossible to travel anywhere. There were a couple of days when I was lucky enough to take myself outside for a jog and instead of it feeling like an obligation like it did for the past couple years, it felt like a treat. A treat because either the roads/paths were clear enough or the weather was warmer and I just couldn't resist. When I went on these jogs, they felt like more of a struggle than they had a month or so beforehand when I had been running every other day.
That's what's great about varying your workout. When you take a break from something that your body has gotten used to, coming back to it is more difficult and your muscles, lungs, and heart are tested again. It feels like I'm really getting something out of my hard work, which I love. Always switching up your workout is the best way to see results and to keep yourself from plateauing. Here are simple ways you can vary your own workout and see results more quickly:

  • On the treadmill, elliptical, or bike, always chose a program that varies in speed and resistance. You can choose programs labeled random, hills, or interval. This will ensure that you are testing your body and making your heart, lungs, and muscles work harder than if you stayed at the same speed and resistance. You'll also get a better workout in less time at the gym. That rocks.

  • Use free weights instead of machines.

  • Try balancing on one leg when doing standing weighted exercises. You'll test and work your stability and core muscles as well as the muscle group you are lifting for. This will help you to burn more calories and build more lean muscle all over your body.

  • Take your chest press or skull crushers off the bench and onto the stability ball. Sit on the ball and walk your feet out until you're lying on the stability ball with your head, neck and shoulders supported by the ball. Here, you'll not only be working your chest or triceps, but your legs, glutes, and abs too, because you have to balance yourself and keep from falling off the ball. Try sitting or lying on the ball for almost any exercise for great core activation.

  • Add 60-90 seconds of jumping jacks, jump rope, jogging in place, or plyometrics in-between sets of weighted exercises.

  • Add a 30-60 second high intensity burst during your cardio workouts. For example, if you're jogging, sprint as fast as you can for 30-60 seconds 2-4 times during your jog.

Be Well!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

New Years THEME

I don't make New Years Resolutions. As of last year I started to make a theme. I found that having an overarching idea to live by and believe in helped me in every situation and live my life with a bit more purpose. Last year my theme was was "Anything Can Happen Day, Year" and this year it's "Year Without Fear." 2011 will be a year where I won't allow fear to hold me back. Fear of getting what I want, need, and deserve in my life. I won't fear communicating my feelings for fear of what someone else might think of me; fear asking for things I need to be happy; fear to live my life to it's fullest because I don't feel I deserve it. So far in these 6 days of 2011, I've found that having that theme guide me has started to help me to create bigger and better things for myself. And it feels great.

I challenge you to try this for yourself. As far as fitness goes, instead of making a resolution that sounds something like "I will lose 20 pounds by March and keep it off," make a theme such as, "2011: The year of being healthy and fit." Or, "2011: The year I will find my personal wellness." Having that theme in the back of your head won't cause you to create unrealistic and hard to maintain goals. Perhaps it will help you to challenge yourself in ways you haven't before. Maybe you'll try things you never have like training for a race or attending that kickboxing class you have always wanted to check out. Or maybe you'll be inspired to focus on a complete lifestyle change by participating in the new Weight Watchers Points Plus plan or Dr. Oz's "Move it and Lose it" Sharecare plan. There are so many ways to help you focus on health to get you where you where you'll feel your best. And remember, if you focus on being healthy, the benefit is that you'll not only look great, you'll feel amazing.

Good luck with your new 2011 theme and Be Well.